You Never Know

Picture an idealic sunny Sunday afternoon at the prestigious Wellesley Country Club just outside of Boston. Spending breaks walking around the beautifully landscaped grounds, enjoying a cold beer on the deck overlooking the golf course…. I thought it odd that all day long people were asking, “Is John going to play?” “Hey, are you guys going to let John play?”

Now, every professional musician will tell you that there are many possibilities that can occur as the result of letting someone sit in. The possibilities range from harmless fun to embarrassing. It can often ends up being the equivalent to what’s known in baseball as a “rally killer.” I kept redirecting sit-in inquiries to other topics such as the Red Sox or the weather.

Finally it’s time to have dinner and standing next to me in line at the buffet is the bride’s mom. She asks, “Are you going to let my Johnny sit in?” It’s the bride’s mom so reluctantly I say, “Sure, what instrument does your Johnny play?” She raised her eyebrows and with an incredulous look said, “Guitar!” “Ok, geez… just have him come up right after dinner and introduce himself.”

With a smirk, I inform the band with an apology that some guy is gonna come up and sit in and play his guitar. With a typical roll of their collective eyes they mumble something like, “Mmmm yeah, ok, whatever….”

After the first song of the first set ends, a gentleman steps up to the band stand holding a crying baby… “Hey man, sorry about this, my mom and sister want me to sit in…but I’ve got to get out of here…my baby just won’t stop crying so I’m going to split like right now.” The entire band stands and stares like a pack of deer blinded by headlights…our mouths agape…finally I hear the bass player, a young kid studying at Berklee pipe up, …”Oh my, God, Sco…that’s Sco… I can’t believe…it’s John Flipping Scofield.” With a wave of his hand, the monster guitarist known as John Scofield vanished as quickly as he had come. The band was humbled.

About Mike Ruggelo

Mike co-founded Jumpstreet with legendary guitarist Peter Calo in 1988. Michael Ruggelo M.Ed, Music Resume
Drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Former Assistant Director of Amesbury High School Band
Haverhill High School Summer Band Camp A.D.
Private Instruction Since 1979
Pro Mark Corporation Award for Outstanding Percussion Education
Metropolitan Drum Company Endorser
Mike co-founded the Jumpstreet Band with in demand NY session great Peter Calo in 1986. In addition to attending the Berklee College of Music private studies program in Boston, Mike has studied with legendary drummers Alan Dawson, Bob Moses, and Dave Mattacks. As a freelance artist and band member, he has performed and or recorded with locally and nationally known artists over the years including Chubby Checker, Tony Funches of theThe Platters, The Coasters, The Marvelettes, The Chiffons, The Heavy Metal Horns (Extreme’s horn section), Peter Calo, the Drifters, Marty Walsh (Supertramp, John Fogerty, Leann Rimes) , John Troy and John Curtis (Pousette-Dart Band) Brad Delp and Fran Sheehan (Boston). Mike has also appeared with Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Fifth Dimension and Boston Music Awards winner Shirley Lewis.
Published (Tater Music) songwriter
If My Heart Was Yours by Peter Calo and Mike Ruggelo featured in the NY City Play “Chris and Adelmo” Also recorded by members of Carley Simon’s band including Gerry Marrotta, drummer for Peter Gabriel

Other notable artists Mike has had the pleasure of appearing with:
Paul Ahlstrand, Ed Antonelli, Rich Appleman, Tim Archibald, Scott Arruda, Steve Baker, Marty Balou, Bruce Bartlett, Lennie Bradford, Bruce Beers, Peter Black, Dave Brown, Brian Burrill, Baron Brown, Chris Stovall Brown, John Curtis, Brad Delp, John, Disoni, Derek Dyer, Henley Douglas, Peter Eldridge, Johnny Secret Fortier, Caprice Fox, Ed Friedland, Tony Gallo, Rich Gardzina, Teese Gohl, Dino Govoni, Raleigh Green, Joe Holaday, Steve Hunt, Roger Kimball, Joey Laite, Lee Leland, Shirly Lewis, Alizon Lissance, Sandy Martin, Mike Metheny, Circe Miller, Myanna Pontopidan, Walter Platt, Johnny Ray, Jacque Raymond, Mark Retallack, Kelly Riley, Marty Rowan, Garrett Savluk, Frannie Sheahan, Oscar Stagnaro, Didi Stewart, Binny Stone, Stan Strickland, Charlie Thomas, John Troy, Michael Troy,John Vanderpoole, Henry Welch, Dave Wilczewski, Frank Wilkinsn (978) 290-0712